Written by 9:50 am Travel

Protocol ease good for tourism business

The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) believes that Government’s recent decision to ease restrictions on travel and weddings will make the country a more attractive destination.

In a press release issued by chief executive officer Rudy Grant, the BHTA said with the Crop Over Festival also slated to be held it could help attract visitors to the island which is on track to resume several activities within the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, Minister of Tourism Lisa Cummins announced that visitors to the island would only require a rapid antigen test taken inside in the future of arrival within the island.

“The BHTA welcomes the recent changes to the COVID-19 protocols which facilitate the easing of some restrictions. We consider it will play a significant role in attracting visitors to the island over the approaching months and into the summer.

“We fully support the updates to the border entry requirements. Lots of our visitors and tour operator partners have been commenting on the existence of easier entry protocols in our competitive destinations. So this now brings us more according to what is going on within the region,” Grant said in a press release issued today.

“We expect that the introduction of the rapid antigen test, at the side of the removal of the processing of passengers at gates 14 to 16 on the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), will assist to alleviate congestion and permit for easier processing of passengers. These adjustments will allow us to stay competitive, without compromising the health and safety of locals and visitors.”

Grant said the relief of restrictions for weddings would positively impact the Direct Tourism Services (DTS).

He also suggested that the Crop Over Festival, Barbados’ first since 2019, would still attract 1000’s of holiday makers.

“The easing of the restrictions on events comparable to weddings is one other positive for the tourism industry. It would give our DTS members the chance to get back to full operation, while adding to the attractiveness of our offering as a destination. This might be useful especially for the summer period.

“Crop-Over’s return can even be one other appealing factor for the summer. A lot of these events assist in boosting our arrivals so we’re confident that it will occur this yr with the reintroduction of the Crop-Over festival,” Grant identified.

“After two years of restrictions, curfews and lockdowns, many travellers are looking forward to participating in events and activities in a secure and secure environment as a part of their holiday. The identical applies for sporting events, which as a distinct segment, have also traditionally been appealing to a few of our visitors.”

The BHTA urged Barbadians and visitors alike to stick to the protocols as they engaged in the various activities being offered. (RB)

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